OFFICIAL GUIDE TO SHIP & YACHT REGISTRIES

Georgia

Shipowner Eligibility 

In the recent years Georgia has undergone significant economic reforms. The latter were addressed to the establishment of an attractive entrepreneurial framework, which serves as essential basis for the FDI inflow, enhancement of the economic activities in all sectors of economy.

There are no requirements concerning local ownership or participation in ownership. All types of conventional and non-conventional vessels can be registered in the name of legally represented person, corporate bodies or entities. However non-resident ownerships should have representative in Georgia. The representation can be granted by Power of Attorney or by any other legal means.

About the Flag

Georgia occupies a very central and strategic geographical position in the Southern Caucasus region. It constitutes the western neck of Caucasus through which cargos using the different type of transport are carried.

Georgia borders Russia in the North, Azerbaijan in the East, Armenia in the South as well as Turkey. A common maritime border is also shared with Ukraine.

Institutional reforms were implemented in 2011 to increase the efficiency of the transport sector. One of the biggest achievements was accomplished through the structural reforms which separated the policy making body from the regulatory one.

The policy making function was allocated to the Transport Policy Department of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and regulatory to the three separate and independent agencies established after the division of the United Transport Administration of the Ministry.

Each agency is responsible for its own sphere, operating with its own budget - the Legal Entities of Public Law - Civil Aviation, Maritime Transport and Land Transport agencies.

The Transport Policy Department of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia is responsible for devising the national transport policy. The whole transport policy is based on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union (PCA) signed in 1996 for 10 years and now automatically renewed every year.

Georgia:
Is a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since 1993
Joined 15 international IMO and UNECE conventions in 1994
Joined 10 other transport conventions in 1994
Adopted a Maritime Code with the assistance of IMO and EU experts (1997)
Set up an Agency in charge of Maritime Transport which obtained Quality Standards
Certificate of ISO-9001: 2008 standard.
Was confirmed by IMO MSC in the IMO STCW "White List" operated first in 2001.

Georgian Shipping Company as a Maritime authority was established in 1967, in 1997 with the President's order it was transformed as Maritime Transport Administration of Georgia. After reforms in 2011 Maritime Transport Administration was renamed as Maritime Transport Agency (MTA).

Maritime Transport Agency represents the National Maritime Authority of Georgia under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia that effectively implement organizational and legal instruments in the maritime field derived from national and international requirements covering the following areas:

Regulation of Georgian maritime sector in accordance with the national legislation and international requirements by ensuring the maritime safety and security of Georgian ports and merchant fleet flying the Georgian flag;
Prevention of marine pollution;
Performance of search and rescue operations;
Proper functioning of the seafarers training and certification system.
Top management strives for continual improvement in all areas of above-mentioned activities by following:
Maintenance of Quality Management System in accordance with ISO 9001:2008;
Meeting and exceeding customer requirements;
Implementation of all applicable industry Best Practices;
Involvement of the personnel in the management system;
Development of statistical and strategic directions based on the data analysis
Policy of attracting vessels under Georgian Flag by offering the competitive, low registration costs, flexibility of manning the vessel without any restriction on the nationalities of the crew or the owner.

Company Formation

Business relationships are governed by Civil Code. Individuals may operate as sole operators. In addition, the Law on Entrepreneurs recognizes:
Limited liability companies (LLCs)
Joint stock companies (JSCs)
General partnerships, which are limited to participation by individuals.
Limited partnerships, where some partners have limited liability and the other partners ( (who must be individuals) have unlimited liability.
Cooperatives, which aim to serving the common interests of their members rather than receiving profits.
From a foreign investor's perspective, the choice will tend to be between a LLC, a JSC, a branch or a representative office.

Limited liability companies
A LLC is a legal entity with a capital devised into shares, and the Liability of its owners is limited to the nominal value of their shares. There is no minimum charter capital requirement for LLC. A LLC may have a maximum of 50 shareholders.

Unless there are restrictions included in the Charter, shares in LLC may be freely transferred. Unlike many countries in the region, Georgia laws do not permit a shareholder to withdraw from LLC. The meeting of shareholders should be held once a year. Resolutions are approved by simple majority of votes. The LLC's directors are responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the LLC and representing the LLC against third persons.

Capital structure - There is no minimum capital requirement for LLC. A LLC may have a maximum of 50 partners.

Joint Stock companies
A JSC is a legal entity whore share capital is divided into a specific number of shares of equal nominal value, and the liability of its shareholders is limited to the nominal value of their shares. There is no minimum charter capital requirement for JSC. A JSC may have multiple classes of shares carrying different rights for the shareholders to each class.

The highest managerial body of a JSC is the shareholder's meeting. A Shareholder's Meeting is not required if decisions are exercised by a shareholder holding more than 75% of the JSC's authorized capital. Operational management is delegated to the JSC's director or directors, who may be of any nationality. JSC's must also have a Supervisory Board and Independent Auditor.

Branches and representative offices
Branches and representative offices are not legal persons and operate in Georgia on behalf of the foreign (or local) companies that they represent. The activities of the representative office are limited to representing the interests of its head office. A branch may perform some or all of the normal commercial activities of the entity to which it belongs.

Taxation

Tonnage Tax in Georgia is regulated by Law of "Registration Fee." The responsibility to file the tonnage tax return lies with the ship owner, or their legal representatives. The annual Return must be filed by the renewal of the Ships registration certificates. However, under the tonnage tax regime the taxable income calculated by multiplying a vessel GT by the fees per GT regardless of whether or not the ship is under conventional or non-conventional regulations.

Registration and Documentation

Procedure of ship's registration under the flag of Georgia
For registration of the vessel shipowner/manager should submit copies of all the documents listed in item (A);

The validity of provisional registration is 6 month. Within this period shipowner has to submit originals of all certificates listed in item (B) for permanent registration;

When all documents listed in item (B) are submitted Maritime Transport Agency issues permanent registration certificates;
In case the Maritime Transport Agency does not receive documents mentioned in item 6(B) within 6 months, the registration will be automatically deleted and any further application for registration of the same vessel will be deemed as a new registration. If the ship owners are not ready to submit the requested documents /application forms for the permanent registration due to the reason deemed acceptable by MTA, the extension of the provisional documents can be granted for additional 6 months;
In all cases (Provisional or Permanent registration) the registration fees should be received before process of registration;
List of required documents for the registration.

A. PROVISIONAL REGISTRATION:
Application for Registration;
Application form for Ship Radio Station Certificate;
Document claiming applicant's competency for ship registration ;
Copy of memorandum of agreement for the sale and purchase of ship or Bill of Sale;
Copies of all valid certificates issued by Recognized Organization or approval letter from recognized organization that the ship is under its supervision;
Copy of Certificate of Registry (Patent certificate) issued by previous flag state;
Affidavit from the owner confirming that the vessel will be deleted from the previous flag for permanent registration;
Copy of Certificate of company or certificate of Incorporation of a Company if the shipowner is a legal entity; in case of individual owner - copy of Identification Document;
Statement concerning satisfaction of hypotheque from the creditor;
Payment check.

B. PERMANENT REGISTRATION
Original of Application for Registration;
Original of Application form for Ship Radio Station Certificate;
Document claiming applicant's competency for ship registration (original) (Original Power of Attorney certificate)
Memorandum of agreement for the sale and purchase of ship or Bill of Sale original
Copies of all valid Statutory certificates issued by Recognized Organization
Original of Deletion Certificate
Copy of ship Insurance Certificate
Original Ship inspection report of surveyor recognized by Maritime Transport Agency
Two photos of the ship ( front and side view - Port of registry to be seen)
Continuous Synopsis Record - Copy
Statement concerning satisfaction of hypotheque from the creditor
Certificate of company or certificate of Incorporation of a Company if the shipowner is a legal entity ; in case of individual owner - Identification Document copy;
Payment check

Registration of the Ships under Lay-up mode
The vessel which is under lay up can be registered in the State Ships Registry of Georgia

Bareboat Charter Registration

Georgian law offers bareboat charter registration of foreign vessels under the Georgian flag. The operation of the vessel falls under jurisdiction of the bareboat charter registry with the same rights and privileges, and have the same obligations, as any other vessel registered in State Ships Registry of Georgia.

A bareboat charter registration shall be for the duration of the bareboat charter agreement or until the expiry date of the underlying registration, whichever is the shorter, but in no case for a period exceeding two years. Registration may be extended.

The requirements and registration procedure, registration fees and annual tonnage tax for bareboat charter registration in State Ships Registry of Georgia are similar to a normal registration.

Vessel and Yacht Eligibility & Survey Requirements

Crewing

The Georgian Maritime Law does not require any particular nationality for manning Georgian flag vessels. Crew can be of different nationalities and this flexibility allows the ship owner to acquire qualified crew from anywhere in the world.

Minimum safe manning is determined be the Order of Maritime Agency and complies with the appropriate IMO Resolution. All officers serving onboard Georgian ships must hold Georgian Licenses of Competence. Certificates issued by Maritime Authorities of All States included in the "White List" are recognized, which comply with STCW 78/95 Convention. There are no restrictions, management can be conducted from any foreign office or through a shipping registered in Georgia, which is free from taxation, but book-keeping shall be kept in accordance with Georgian Law on Enterprise.

Mortgages

Registration of Mortgage
The granting and registration of mortgages over vessels is governed under Georgian law. A mortgage on a vessel may be recorded in the register as soon as the vessel is registered, upon presentation of the instrument of mortgage.

Ship owner (mortgager), who mortgages his own vessel should:
Fill in the mortgage deed form and application form. In case the mortgagor is a physical entity, his signature should be legalized by a notary;
Submit the original or notarized copy of the contract of mortgage;
Submit the original Certificate of Registry where the claim of mortgage is indicated.
Discharge of the Mortgage

While discharge of mortgage the Mortgagee submits the written statement and filled application form with the statement of satisfaction of mortgage from the mortgagor, after which the notice is done on the original application form of mortgage deed and in the Certificate of Registry.

Fees

Annual registration fees: (Annual Tonnage tax approximation)

GRT Fee per GRT (US$)

501 up to 5,000
US$930 to US$1980
5,001 up to 10,000
US$1180 to US$2280
10,001 up to 50,000
US$1380 to US$6580
50,000 or more
US$3580 to US$7580

Yacht Registration
Ocean-going US$580
Coastal Navigation US$330

Yachts less than 100GT
Provisional/Permanent Registration
80 GEL

Agency Service Fees
Provisional registration
age of vessel zero to 15 years
650 GEL
age of vessel 16 to 25 years
1300 GEL
age of vessel 26 years and older
2275 GEL
Permanent registration
age of vessel zero to 15 years
610 GEL
age of vessel 16 to 25 years
1220 GEL
age of vessel 26 years and older
2135 GEL
Annual renewal
age of vessel zero to 15 years
305 GEL
age of vessel 16 to 25 years
610 GEL
age of vessel 26 years and older
1070 GEL

Registration of Hypotheque
350 GEL
Reference of Hypotheque
85 GEL
Deletion of Hypotheque
170 GEL
Registration of Hypotheque (Yacht less than 100 GT)
100 GEL
Reference of Hypotheque (Yacht less than 100 GT)
40 GEL
Deletion of Hypotheque (Yacht less than 100 GT)
50 GEL

Deletion Certificate
700 GEL
Temporary Deletion Certificate
350 GEL
Deletion Certificate (Yacht Less Than 100 GT)
150 GEL
Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR)
350 GEL
International Ship Security Certificate
270 GEL
Approval Ship Security Plan
1200 GEL
Exemption
600 GEL
Change Of Owner/Ship Name
430 GEL
Amendments To Certificates
120 GEL
Amendments In Certificates (Yacht Less Than 100 GT)
50 GEL
Radio Station Certificate
260 GEL
Minimum Safe Manning Document
170 GEL
Other Certificates
170 GEL
True Copy
55 GEL
Duplicate
95 GEL
Duplicate (Yacht Less Than 100 GT)
30 GEL
Flag State Inspections:
100 To 10000 GT
600 GEL
10,000 To 50,000 GT
1000 GEL
Over 50,000 GT
1500 GEL

In order to calculate registration and tonnage costs please email us. Indicate age, tonnage and navigation area (international/Domestic) to fsi@mta.gov.ge

Contact

LEPL "Maritime Transport Agency"
Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
50 Baku Str., Batumi, 6000, Georgia

Telephone: +995 (422) 274925 / 26 (Ext. 24)
Fax: +995 (422) 273929
Mobile: +995 (577) 2216 22 / 82

Email: info@mta.gov.ge

Website: www.mta.gov.ge

Telephone: +995 (422) 274925 Ext. 3333
Email: info@mta.gov.ge

Stockholm Agreement 96
IMO Convention 48
* IMO amendments 91 
* IMO amendments 93
SOLAS Convention 74
SOLAS Protocol 78
SOLAS Protocol 88
LOAD LINES Convention 66
LOAD LINES Protocol 88
TONNAGE Convention 69
COLREG  Convention 72
CSC Convention 72
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93
STCW  Convention 78
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR  Convention 79
STP Agreement 71
STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76
INMARSAT OA 76
INMARSAT amendments 94
INMARSAT amendments 98
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008
FACILITATION Convention 65
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V)
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI)
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96
INTERVENTION Convention 69
INTERVENTION Protocol 73
CLC Convention 69
CLC Protocol 76
CLC Protocol 92
FUND Convention 71
FUND Protocol 92
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III)
PAL Protocol 76
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02
LLMC Convention 76
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 2005
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89
OPRC  Convention 90
HNS Convention 96
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01
ANTI FOULING 01
BALLASTWATER 2004
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION
HNS PROT 2010
Cape Town Agreement 2012
SUA Convention 88
SUA Protocol 88

IMO Conventions

Status of Conventions Georgia

IMO Convention 48 x
SOLAS Convention 74 x
SOLAS Protocol 78
SOLAS Protocol 88 x
SOLAS Agreement 96
LOAD LINES Convention 66 x
LOAD LINES Protocol 88 x
TONNAGE Convention 69 x
COLREG Convention 72 x
CSC Convention 72 x
CSC amendments 93
SFV Protocol 93
Cape Town Agreement 2012
STCW Convention 78 x
STCW-F Convention 95
SAR Convention 79 x
STP Agreement 71
Space STP Protocol 73
IMSO Convention 76 x
INMARSAT OA 76
IMSO amendments 2006
IMSO amendments 2008 x
FACILITATION Convention 65 x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV) x
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V) x
MARPOL Protocol 97 (Annex VI)
London Convention 72
London Convention Protocol 96 x
INTERVENTION Convention 69 x
INTERVENTION Protocol 73 x
CLC Convention 69 x
CLC Protocol 76 x
CLC Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 76
FUND Protocol 92 x
FUND Protocol 2003
NUCLEAR Convention 71
PAL Convention 74 d
PAL Protocol 76 d
PAL Protocol 90
PAL Protocol 02 x
LLMC Convention 76 x
LLMC Protocol 96
SUA Convention 88 x
SUA Protocol 88 x
SUA Convention 2005
SUA Protocol 2005
SALVAGE Convention 89 x
OPRC Convention 90 x
HNS Convention 96
HNS PROT 2010
OPRC/HNS 2000
BUNKERS CONVENTION 01 x
ANTI FOULING 2001 x
BALLASTWATER 2004 x
NAIROBI WRC 2007
HONG KONG CONVENTION

x: Accession/ratification
d: Denunciation

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